Martin Gelin om amerikansk politik och kultur

Martin Gelin

Martin Gelin

Det är förstås väldigt goda nyheter att Google börjar dra sig ur Kina, där de länge tvingats kompromissa med sitt allt mer darriga motto ”don’t be evil”.

Men som Nicholas Carr påpekar i New Republic är det inte bara ädla motiv som står bakom beslutet:

”Google’s motivations are not as pure as they may seem. While there’s almost certainly an ethical component to the company’s decision-Google and its founders have agonzied in a very public way over their complicity in Chinese censorship-yesterday’s decision seems to have been spurred more by hard business calculations than soft moral ones. If Google had not, as it revealed in its announcement, ”detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China,” there’s no reason to believe it would have altered its policy of censoring search results to fit the wishes of the Chinese authorities. It was the attack, not a sudden burst of righteousness, that spurred Google’s action.”

Läs även Andreas Ekström.

Uppdatering: En mer nyanserad analys, med ungefär samma slutsats, från smarta Evgeny Morozov på Foreign Policy:

”Here is my very crude and cynical (Eastern European) reading of the situation: Google was in need of some positive PR to correct its worsening image (especially in Europe, where concerns about privacy are mounting on a daily basis). Google.cn is the goat that would be sacrificed, for it will generate most positive headlines and may not result in devastating losses to Google’s business (Google.cn holds roughly 30 percent of the Chinese market)


Now, if you believe that Google was wrong to censor the Web in China in the first place, I doubt you’ll suddenly become a fan of their work — they still don’t seem to recognize that censoring the Web in China may have been wrong for ethical reasons and frame it simply as a business decision (based on new security threats). You’ll probably think that they are now doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

If, on the other hand, you believe that they did the right thing in China by offering their limited service (rather than no service at all), I don’t see how this move could make you feel good either: all it took to get Google to shut down their ”public service” was to launch a bunch of cyberattacks (so, should we expect that, instead of direct censorship, authoritarian governments would now simply launch cyberattacks on their targets and force them to leave under psychological pressure?). Thus, you’ll probably think that they are now doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons.”


Om någon missat Karin Henrikssons välskrivna och sorgliga artikel om Haiti, och landets krångliga relation till USA, så borde ni läsa den.

Min hyresvärds familj är från Haiti så hela den här fruktansvärda katastrofen känns bokstavligen väldigt close to home.

Boston Globes fotoblogg Big Picture har magstarka bilder från jordbävningen.

NPR har en bra lista på Haiti-twittrare att följa.